Cooks Exchange

Use low-sodium seasonings and salts to bring out natural flavors of food

Low-sodium seasonings and lighter salts give foods brightness and add flavor, but it takes experimentation to find the best seasonings and salts.

My recent column on low-sodium recipes sparked the interest of readers and companies alike. Consumers want products that taste good and enhance their foods.

Donna Johnston of Long Beach, Mississippi, has found a LaCrosse, Wisconsin, company that makes gourmet seasonings that are lower in sodium.

“Since my extremely high blood pressure episodes, I have ordered all of the no-sodium products plus some of the others,” said Johnston. “All of them are excellent. You might want to try them. The All-Purpose Pleasoning is excellent on steak.”

And, yes, Pleasoning Gourmet Seasoning calls their products Pleasoning, not seasoning. This company offers 37 seasoning blends to help give gourmet flavor to home-cooked foods. Johnston sent me the company’s 24-page catalog.

To get a catalog, call 800-279-1614 or check out the website at www.pleasoning.com.

Another company Murray River Salt offers salt flakes that are less sodium per teaspoon than regular salt and are allergy-free and kosher certified. These salt flakes are naturally pink and are mined and packed in Mildura, Australia, and now available in the United States.

The salt flakes are high in calcium, potassium and magnesium and lower in naturally occurring iodine.

I gave the pink flakes a try and really like the way they dissolve immediately when sprinkled on foods both cooked and raw. It does bring out the natural flavors of the food. For more information on the Murray River Salt, here is the websitewww.murrayriversaltusa.com.

Readers, if you have a good source for low-sodium seasonings, please send the information to me. Readers helping readers is this column’s mission.

Still looking

Speaking of helping fellow readers. Carol Roch needs a copy of Mrs. Bertha Sadowski’s pamphlet that she used in her cake decorating classes at Biloxi High School.

Readers, do you remember these classes? If so, please send me a copy of the pamphlet or copy or scan pages of the document and send those to me for Roch, who took Sadowski’s classes. Any help would be appreciated.

Healthy honey

In August, one column focused on honey, its benefits and some recipes. Global Healing Center, which was named in the article, asked if I would print their link to specific benefits of locally grown raw honey. Here is the link if you want more information: https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-organic-locally-grown-raw-honey/ .

I know we have been battling the flu at our house and honey, lemon and pineapple juice have been most beneficial, especially helping control coughing.

When purchasing honey, make sure the honey is harvested in your area. If you live in Long Beach, buy Long Beach honey, or in Gautier, buy honey from Gautier.

A favorite to try

As readers know, I love Greek food. The seasonings just suit my taste buds. I can use oregano, garlic, onions, tomatoes, olives or a mixture of seasonings and I need no salt. I cooked fish and simply used herbs and spices, no salt, and we didn’t miss the salt at all.

My daughter and I both love these flavors. I thought I would share a low-fat, quick-fix recipe that is good for a weeknight meal or even a dinner for company. It also is good for Lent since it uses shrimp and no meat.

A chunky tomato sauce is the base for the dish that uses freezer and pantry staples and takes less than 30 minutes.

This recipe uses kosher salt, but with this mixture of herbs and spices I often omit the salt.

GREEK SHRIMP WITH FETA AND TOMATOES

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (21/25) fully thawed, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons dry dill weed, divided

Pinch red pepper flakes

6 cloves garlic, minced, divided

Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, chopped

1 (26-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drain only some of the liquid

Juice of 1/2 lemon, more for later if you like

Chopped fresh mint leaves, a generous handful

Chopped fresh parsley leaves, a generous handful

2 to 3 ounces crumbled Greek feta cheese, more if you like

6 or more pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

Pat shrimp dry and place in a large bowl. Season with kosher salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed, pinch red pepper flakes and about 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine. Set aside.

In a large heavy skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chopped onion and remaining minced garlic, cook briefly until fragrant (stir regularly). Add tomatoes and lemon juice and season with pinch of salt, pepper and remaining dry oregano and dill. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Now add the marinated shrimp. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until pink, do a little stirring if needed (do not overcook shrimp).

Stir in fresh mint and parsley leaves. Finish with sprinkle of feta and black olives. If you like, add a splash more lemon juice or more red pepper flakes to your taste.

Serve over plain orzo, your favorite grain or your favorite crusty bread to sop up the delicious sauce.

– Recipe from www.mediterraneandish.com

Andrea Yeager can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.
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